Darling Cellars

Darling Wines

McEvoy Ranch Vineyard Syrah 2018

A pleasant surprise. One of the better CA Syrahs I’ve had. Everything is really in balance. Lots of intense red fruit, game, smoke complexity in a very elegant and long finish. Would definitely buy this again. — 13 hours ago

McHenry Vineyard

Massaro Vineyard Pinot Noir 1999

This is a long story but worth the read. McHenry Vineyard, which is own-rooted and dry-farmed, was replanted back in the 90’s. While they waited for their vines to mature, they purchased some fruit and this is one of those examples.

The first time I ever had this wine was back in 2007 with some dear friends of ours, celebrating a birthday. Her father was a construction executive who periodically travelled to the Bay Area and happened to bring a few bottles of McHenry back on one of his trips. I was early in my wine journey and remember thinking back then, “This wine is gorgeous and, wow, has it aged really well…for a California Pinot Noir”. In that instant, McHenry became a darling winery for me and I have been enjoying their wines ever since.

Fast-forward to the summer of 2019 when I first visited the vineyard. I mentioned to Brandon that my introduction to McHenry wines was the 1999 Massaro Vineyard and before I new it, he had pulled a bottle from the library. The wine instantly brought me back to that experience in 2007. He even agreed to sell me a bottle to take with me too! Anyway, on this night, since I was with the same group of friends from my first experience 13 years ago.

In the glass, this shows signs of age. There is some sediment and the rim shows a slight brownish tint. On the nose, the fruit is still very alive! A mix of dark and red fruits are the predominate feature but secondary characteristics of mushrooms, leather and damp earth are riding shotgun. On the palate, dried dark and red fruits with mushrooms. The finish is long and satisfying…almost candied in a way. The wonderful structure that McHenry wines are known for has done its job and there’s still life in this bottle and worked very well with the meal.

If you’re still reading this, I should share that McHenry Vineyard suffered heavy damage due to the CZU Lightning Complex fires. The winery, one of the dwellings, their well system and their entire library was lost. The vineyard itself sustained some damage but should be okay. The 2020 crop is a complete write-off. That being said, they were able to secure some fruit from the Christie Vineyard in Corralitos so there will be a small 2020 vintage after all. The family’s heart remains bound to this land up on Bonny Doon and their special vineyard. They are already in the process of rebuilding and I, for one, am very much looking forward to drinking their wines long into the future.
— 4 months ago

Arden, Daniel P. and 13 others liked this
Jay Kline

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@Ira Schwartz thanks for reading!! ✊🏽
David T

David T Influencer Badge

Nice story. It’s unfortunate the tragedies that can befall producers. It made think back to my trip to Alsace in 2015. Hearing their stories of phylloxera in the latter 1800’s and German tanks rolling over their vineyards in WWI & WWII. That’s a lot unfortunate replanting. Cheers! 🍷
Jay Kline

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@David T no doubt...the lives of farmers. One of the reasons why the Hochar family are hero’s of mine.

Stone Town

Darling Sauvignon Blanc

Great lunch time wine — 2 months ago

Domaine Denis Carré

Les Noizons Pommard Pinot Noir

W Box
9.1

I don’t get these relatively moderate ratings whilst being a common Guide Hachette darling. Personally I think it’s good value and nice Pinot noir. Silky and balanced. Lacks some intensity but overall good performance. — 4 months ago

Thijs liked this

Pete's Pure

Murray Darling Fiano 2019

Great summer wine! — 7 months ago

Darling Cellars

Reserve Old Blocks Pinotage 2015

2020 Christmas wine... delicious with gammon! — 4 months ago

Sara liked this

Cloof

The Very Sexy Shiraz 2018

Wine Connection — 5 months ago

The Great Oregon Wine Company

Rascal Oregon Pinot Noir

Awesome 2018 Pinot with my darling hero Kevin — 8 months ago